BERKELEY, Calif. – For the third times in the last four conference games, Arizona plated double-digit runs en route to a 15-5 victory over Cal Friday at Levine-Fricke Field.
Katiyana Mauga stayed hot at the plate, connecting on her 14th homer of the year and doubling twice while driving in three runs in the contest. Kellie Fox added three hits, including two doubles, and five RBI.
Arizona (33-8, 8-5 Pac-12) scored its 15 runs on 16 hits. In addition to Fox and Mauga’s three-hit days, Hallie Wilson, Kelsey Rodriguez and Lauren Young picked up two knocks apiece. Courtney Rodriguez, who entered the game with eight walks on the season, went 1-for-1 with three walks and four runs scored.
Despite being just over two-thirds through the season, Arizona’s 33 wins equal its total from a season ago.
Estela Piñon (12-5) threw the first four innings for the Wildcats and allowed four runs on four hits with three strikeouts and six walks. Shelby Babcock earned her first save of the season by pitching three innings of one-run ball. The senior scattered three hits with a trio of walks and strikeouts as well.
Cal (20-16, 3-5 Pac-12) drew first blood after a single and walk put two on with two out in the bottom of the second for Vanessa Alvarez whose ground ball found a hole up the middle to bring in the game’s first run.
Arizona responded with four runs in the top of the third. Courtney Rodriguez and Hallie Wilson led off the inning with walks and after Kellie Fox singled in a run, Chelsea Goodacre notched a sacrifice fly to put Arizona ahead 2-1. Katiyana Mauga followed with an RBI double before Mo Mercado’s infield single scored her from third after an illegal pitch.
Cheyenne Cordes led off the bottom of the third with a solo homer to cut Arizona’s lead to 4-2.
Two hits and a walk loaded the bases for the Cats in the fourth. Fox doubled in a pair to extend Arizona’s lead to 6-2.
Cal responded with a pair of runs of its own in the bottom half. Three Piñon walks loaded the bases and a single and a walk brought in two Bears runs to make it 6-4 Wildcats.
In the fifth, after a Lauren Young double, Cynthia Pelayo’s pop up fell in shallow center for a double to put runners at second and third with one out. An illegal pitch and a Cal error drove two runs in to extend Arizona’s lead to 8-4.
Mauga doubled with one out in the sixth, moved to third on a Mercado groundout and scored on an illegal pitch to make Arizona’s lead 9-4.
The Cats scored six runs to insure their lead in the top of the seventh punctuated by a three-run Mauga homer .
Cal managed to score a run off Babcock in the bottom seventh to cut Arizona’s lead to ten, but Babcock quickly ended Cal’s rally, earning her first save of the season.
Arizona and Cal continue the series Saturday at 1:00 p.m. PDT as the Cats look to secure the series victory.